In October, India grappled with a merchandise trade deficit of $31.46 billion, a surge attributed to a substantial rise in imports, reaching $65.03 billion for the month, as disclosed by Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal on Wednesday.
The pronounced escalation in global crude oil prices significantly contributed to the upswing in the nation's import bill. Simultaneously, gold imports witnessed a 5.5% upturn, reaching $29.48 billion in comparison to October 2022. This surge reflects a noteworthy shift from the trade deficit of $19.37 billion recorded in September.
While India's merchandise exports displayed a positive trajectory, marking a 6.2% increase to $33.57 billion in October, compared to $31.60 billion in the same period of the preceding year, the surge in merchandise imports to $65.03 billion, from $57.91 billion year-on-year, underscored the challenging balance.
The uptick in exports provided a welcome respite, breaking the declining trend witnessed in recent months. However, despite this positive development, merchandise exports have still seen a 7% contraction during the April-October period this year, amounting to $244.89 billion compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
Conversely, merchandise imports during the April-October period totaled $391.96 billion, reflecting an 8.95% decrease from the same duration last year. The dynamics of India's trade landscape continue to evolve, navigating the challenges posed by global economic factors and emphasizing the need for strategic measures to address trade imbalances.
(With Agency Inputs)